Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the inlaws weekend.

Last weekend, we were in SC visiting both sets of in-laws! What a fun weekend. My mom and dad flew from AZ to visit them, and then they left halfway through their vacation to go visit my aunt and uncle in NH. This is the second time they have planned a trip like this, where they visit my in-laws. I think it is really neat, because it doesn't happen everyday and it sure makes "killing two birds with one stone" more convenient. And I don't think after the visit anyone wanted to kill each other! So that's always good. Ben really enjoyed both sets of grandparents pretty equally. Since Ben is in prime boyhood now, he loved riding the tractor with Grandpop (Rob's dad) and finding a turtle with Lolo (my dad). In between that he enjoyed swimming in his great Gram's pool, and trying his hand at fishing in her pond. Unfortunately, the fish in this pond are more choosy as to when they feel like biting than in our pond across the gravel road.

enjoying meal time

with his Grandpop

loving the screened in porch

before bedtime with Lola

a turtle!

jumping off the diving board. this smaller diving board has prepared him for the higher springboard at the base pool, because just yesterday he jumped off it!

me and my mom.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Do y'all remember that song titled "Peaches" by the Presidents of the United States?! Here are some of the lyrics:

Moving to the country
I'm gonna eat a lot of peaches

Peaches come from a can
They were put there by a man
In a factory downtown

Millions of peaches, peaches for me
Millions of peaches, peaches for free
Millions of peaches, peaches for me
Millions of peaches, peaches for free... Look out!

My mother-in-law, Liz, is truly a peach! She sent us home with a $20 basket of fresh peaches! While they are yummy, this is a LOT OF PEACHES. So what to do? It is amazing that I only had to throw away 3! As frugal as I am, we had to figure out how to get rid of $20 of peaches before they went bad!

Here is what we did:

A dozen and a half went with Rob to work. - (Liz wanted to Rob to bring some to work.)

Random peaches consumed.

Peach cobbler - also sent to work for a night meal (we military gals know how to get rid of food - send it to the husband's work)

MORE random peaches consumed.

3 peaches had to take one for the team. :(

Peach ice cream - it was very, very yummy!

Another dozen or so peaches cut up and frozen in my freezer.

Another couple random peaches consumed.

3 yummy peaches in the refrigerator still waiting for consumption. - Not today though, I have already reached my 2 peach quota for the day.

And to quote the "Peaches" song: "Millions of peaches, peaches for me, Millions of peaches, peaches for free....LOOK OUT!"

And in the end, I get to keep the cute basket they all came in! Thanks, Liz for the summer yummies. We really appreciated it! For anyone interested in some recipes, here they are:

Peach Cobbler
4 C fresh peaches
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 C flour
1 C sugar
1 egg
4 Tbsp butter

Layer peaches in lightly greased oblong dish. Add the lemon juice to the peaches. Combine flour, sugar, and egg until it is a course meal. Sprinkle on top of peaches. Drizzle melted butter on top of that. Bake for 35 minutes at 365 degrees.

Ben & Jerry's Fresh Georgia Peach Ice Cream Recipe
2 c Ripe peaches - finely chopped
2 lg Eggs
1 1/4 c Sugar
2 c Heavy or whipping cream
1/2 Juice of lemon
1 c Milk

Ben and Jerry prefer small peaches because they have more flavor and less water than the larger ones.

Combine the peaches, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring the mixture every 30 minutes. Remove the peaches from the refrigerator and drain the juice into another bowl. Return the peaches to the refrigerator. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the peach juice and blend. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer's instructions. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done) add the peaches, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Makes 1 generous quart.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

pictures from England.

This was taken in Charleston, upon leaving the States. I am including this shot, because I have never seen a full-grown frog so small!

And so our journey begins...

Bury St. Edmunds - visited a historical Abbey that was turned in to a park, while preserving some if its remains.

The town of Bury St. Edmunds

A visit to Cambridge.

Duxford Imperial War Museum - what vacation would ever be complete without seeing airplanes?! :) There were four hangars complete with British aircraft, and one hangar devoted to US airplanes. I won't even begin to include all the photos taken there; I wouldn't know which ones to include!

And of course the a big, long day devoted to London.

On the train for a 60 mile trip to London. For an all day pass you get transportation into London, and use of the underground train and buses throughout the city! This pregnant girl loved it!

Our first sight of London - Big Ben.

Big Ben again, but you can see the London Eye ferris wheel behind it, which has a great view!

Westminster Abbey.

The day was really perfect by accident. We just happened to arrive right at Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards. It was pretty neat to see a lot of the cliche things you hear about certain places.

At the gate.

"They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
'A soldier's life is terrible hard,'
Says Alice."

From "When We Were Very Young" by A.A. Milne

Tralfager Square - located outside Buckingham Palace.

"Whenever I walk in a London street,
I'm ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street,
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, 'Bears,
Just look how I'm walking in all of the squares!'"

These A.A. Milne (creator of Pooh bear) references were very important to the husband. Rob always grew up having the Classic Pooh books read to him, and he has carried this tradition on with Ben. Ben loves talking about the bears when we walk anywhere, and is ever so careful to not walk on any cracks or lines. I have to admit that it is sweet, and kind of a breath of fresh air from the old "break your mother's back" reference I always remembered hearing.

In the London Eye. The view was beautiful!

A couple views from the London Eye.

Having mentioned the Pooh books, there was no way (as I found out) that Rob was leaving without finding A.A. Milne's home in London. I thought it was quite a good fatherly thing to do. Even though I was not in the least bit thrilled to walk any more. We really did a lot of walking that day!

Don't you have to get one of these shots?

Tower Bridge behind us - taken on the London Bridge. The newer one, that is - seeing as though the London Bridge was purchased and relocated to Lake Havasu, AZ.

A.A. Milne's neighborhood.

If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed viewing the pictures. We really enjoyed our trip and while we missed Ben, we were so thankful to have this opportunity. We know Ben enjoyed his Gram and Grandpop in SC. We know this, because we could hardly ever get him to stay on the phone for more than 15 seconds. We also know that this trip would have been less enjoyable had he been with us. It was a tiring trip for an adult (I can vouch to this), much less a 3 year old. As you can see, we thought of him all the time!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

the sewing machine and me.

A friend of mine told me about these easy to sew yoga pants using a large t-shirts. With pregnancy, I wanted some comfy pants to wear. I also figured I have so many large t-shirts that never get worn because they are too big. So I converted a 10K shirt into pants. Here is the link for anyone interested. They were super easy, and that is coming from a person with little sewing experience.

Here is my first rag quilt. I am fairly pleased with the results, however, I know that it isn't "well done" in the sewing world. I only had a finished product that I saw for a couple minutes at my mom's friend's house, and no really written instructions. So I know I was winging it. My mom sewed the baby bumper for our dear Lydia (I guess we have committed to her name), and the rag quilt is my contribution to her. These are the same colors and fabrics in the baby bumper, since her walls are currently a burnt orange. The back of the rag quilt is quilting flannel and the front are scraps that were left over from the bumper. I was skeptical of the washing machine actually "ragging" the edges, but it worked. And with time, the more and more it's washed, it will "rag" more.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

teach a man to fish.

While I have joined the "uncool" club in my son's eyes this past weekend, I am so pleased and proud to see that Ben and Rob have done a lot of bonding more recently. Everything from riding on the lawn mower (tractor) to working with tools (putting his new big boy bed together), and now to FISHING!

Biding his time, until he can do the "real thing" with Dad. Here he is fixing his bubble lawnmower.
In his new big boy bed (we're still waiting for his headboard to come in).
This weekend (holiday 4 day weekends are great!), we spent a lot of family time together. While the family time was great, Rob also gave me a lot of time on my own in the house, while he and Ben were off doing guy things. See, sometimes we, moms feel like the only way to get away is to get away and leave the house. But what is sometimes needed so much more is that time in the house where you can just have quiet time. Obviously that doesn't happen as much when there are kid(s) around. When I mentioned joining the "uncool" club, I was referencing the fact that Ben had so much fun with his Dad, that any time I tried to do the motherly necessary things (ie. eating, napping, potty time), I got this look that seemed to say, "aww, Mom".

While Monday was the day to practice casting his fishing pole in the backyard, this evening was devoted to taking his newly learned skills to the small little pond across the road from us at our neighbor's house. Mr. Lemmerman (also Ben's preschool teacher's father-in-law) regularly feeds the many fish out there. Sometimes Ben and I bring a slice or two of bread out there.

All day today, I was mostly a drag to my Ben, because I wasn't Dad and Dad was at work. I even invited his friends, Trey and Meghan over to play while Wendy went for groceries. We did many things today that included: friends, his water rocket, coloring, reading and playing with cars. While all of this kept us busy, Ben kept asking when Dad was coming home. And at about 3 o'clock this afternoon he asked me if he can call Dad at work and see when he's coming home. He also had an idea to go up to the squadron to see if he was coming home.

So, alas, Dad comes home! (I'm thinking, "Oh praise God, will someone please take this boy fishing?!").

Here are the fruits of their labor...I think it can hardly be called labor though, considering it was all fun! He caught 3 fish in a half hour's time - all by himself. He had such a look of pride on his face.

Fish #1

Fish #2

Fish #3

And here is my attempt to become part of the "cool" club again. This is my first fish ever caught with my son's $9.96 Lightning McQueen fishing pole. (I honestly think that the fish was probably eyeballing my flabby pregnant arm and not the bread on the hook.)